Kerala Governor Arif Khan furthering RSS-BJP agenda, say Left leaders
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had on Monday held a press conference in which he lashed out at the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government for ‘suppressing the voices of dissent’
A day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan held a press conference at the Raj Bhavan and lashed out at the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in the state for ‘suppressing the voices of dissent’, Left leaders accused him of creating a constitutional crisis at the behest of the RSS-BJP.
Several ministers and MPs belonging to the Left parties came out in support of the Vijayan government and criticised Khan's conduct.
Seeking President Draupadi Murmu’s intervention, CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam said, “His practice of open collision with the state government is clearly an anti-constitutional act. As the governor, he is sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law. But he has become the proverbial gold that rusts.”
Viswam shot off a letter to the President in the morning and urged her “to take cognisance of the matter and instruct the governor to maintain the sanctity and decorum of his august office.”
Referring to the Supreme Court judgement in Shamsher Singh vs State of Punjab (1975), Viswam said that the status of the governor in the Indian parliamentary system was equivalent to that of the monarch in the United Kingdom.
“Parliamentary democracy with its nucleus, cabinet system, is the warp and weft of our constitutional fabric…and the governor is a hyphen between the Union government and the state,” Viswam wrote in his letter.
Later in the day, Kerala local self-government minister MB Rajesh and former finance minister TM Thomas Isaac castigated Khan over the development.
While Isaac alleged that Khan was trying to implement the policies of the RSS-BJP in Kerala, Rajesh said, “Since the BJP cannot buy or intimidate Left MLAs, they are trying to create a constitutional crisis here.”
“From his conduct, it is clear whom he is working for and where the remote control is,” he added.
“Wherever there is a non-BJP government, they are using the governor to create problems in those states,” Isaac said.
Saying that the governor should understand his position and powers, Isaac underscored, “He is bound to act as per the advice of the cabinet. But he is acting as if he is the King of Kerala. That is not acceptable. The only solution to the problem is to counter it politically,” he said, adding, “Who is he to say he won't sign the Bills passed by an elected government and will keep it in his pocket.”
Left leaders said Khan is working with a “pre-conceived mindset”.
At the press meet in question, Khan had accused the CM and the state government of using “pressure tactics” against the Raj Bhavan and using force to ‘silence voices of dissent’.
He had also indicated that he was against the University Laws and Lok Ayukta Amendment Bills – which became a major flash point between the governor and the government. Khan has said that he will not sign the Bills until he 'sees them in advance'.